Steadfast Moms — encouragement to get those little ones to church

GrumpyGirl

by Holly Scheer

Hey, you.

I see your tired face. I know that this morning while trying to brush your teeth your kid knocked over your coffee. I know that finding clean socks for everyone can sometimes be embarrassingly difficult. I know that staying home seems like it would be better sometimes. I’d say sleeping in sounds better, but let’s be real, sleeping in is a thing of the past.

I know that when you are at church sometimes it feels like your child is the only one who can’t seem to sit and be quiet. And that depending on your congregation, they may be the only little voice in the building.

I know it can feel like trying to contain a small brigade of animals keeping your kids in the pew. I know that there are whole services you haven’t heard because you were doing damage control or pacing the back or running that new member of the potty training club to the bathroom again.

I want to tell you something. Maybe you hear it all the time, maybe you never hear it – bringing your children to church is the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do when they are cooperative and it is the right thing to do when they aren’t.

All of this makes for some very long days. Add in your neighbor and it can get even longer – people and their helpful advice is sometimes anything but helpful.

Bringing up children in the faith is a daily challenge. It isn’t one that gets easier. The world is constantly pushing. The flesh is always wanting to give in.  Temptation rises up in the moments before you leave to skip church.  Don’t give in.

So, I wanted to remind you that it matters. I wanted to remind you that Jesus loves you and Jesus loves your children- even when they manage to drop their hymnal loudly during the prayers. And I wanted to say thank you for bringing your kids to church.


Comments

Steadfast Moms — encouragement to get those little ones to church — 12 Comments

  1. Yes, thank you to all the Moms and Dads out there who take the time to do this when it all seems like just too much effort.

    It matters. You will get through it. Believe it or not, you will miss it. When your kids are older, they will remember gong to church regularly and the importance that their parents placed on that.

    We are all so sorry for those (hopefully few) congregation members who are perhaps less than tactful when watching you try to control your kids; or perhaps make comments on how “their kids were much better behaved”. Be assured that the great majority of the people around you understand what you are going through and would love to encourage you if they could simply find the words.

  2. Thanks to Holly, Norm, and all.

    As a young dad myself, with my lovely wife and three kiddos, we make it a point to bring our family up in the faith. I know I probably put more pressure (in a sinful way) on myself (the devil talking!) about keeping the kids quiet or whatnot when in the pew than most around us. Many are supportive and vocalize it. There are a few who look at us odd or make comments to the contrary, of which we have grown rhino skin.

    To an extent their lack of understand of the Divine Service or thinking “the children don’t get anything out of it” concerns me as the root cause. When we are in church even my mumbling, backward sitting, crying, jumping at the communion rail toddlers are still being served the Word of God, preaching of the Word, and enrichment of the Holy Spirit.

    What a blessing for these little ears and weary parental adults!

    (Brian and I talke about this, now a year and a half ago on Parental Office [currently dormant, too busy with other vocations!]: http://parentaloffice.com/episode-5-getting-through-service-with-young-children-through-faith)

  3. I’m a nobody. Probably that grumpy old guy sitting in the pew a few rows up… I just have to say-

    Thank You! Thank you to all the intrepid Moms and Dads for you Herculean efforts. I beg you to please continue to bring those little ones to every service. To every Sunday School and VBS. They are our future. I am delighted to see them AND to hear them. If you need a break, I’d gladly sit with them anytime. With one exception, I won’t do potty thing… Icky Ick!

  4. We are so blessed to have a church that welcomes the kids. This Sunday we dealt with kids decorating the floor with crayon wrappings, screaming over a lost pacifier, meandering the aisle as he contemplated going forward for the children’s message (he did not go up…), and the baby trying to rip out my earring as I stood before the congregation for my confirmation ;). Love this post and love having my kids with us, even on these harder days.

  5. It took me a while to realize how myopic I was by asking my wife what she thought of the sermon. “I’m sorry. Your child(ren) were a bit busy today. I wasn’t able to focus.” I thank God for her patience, persistence, and presence.

  6. Thank you for writing this article Holly – I will be showing it to my wife. My wife gets our kids to church by herself every other sunday when I work. It can be a struggle with a 2 & 5 year old and it probably won’t get any easier for either of us as they get older. Thank God for faithful wives and parents everywhere who battle the temptation to stay home on sunday morning. THe world may tell you other things are more important but for me bringing my children up in the faith is my most important job as a father.

  7. Our smaller and older congregation is full of love for our daughter and encouragement to bring her to worship. Its like having additional grandparents! I can’t imagine a more youth-friendly church.

  8. Keep up the good work, parents. Your reward will come sooner than you think. The first time you see and hear your five-year-old (or younger) singing the liturgy, you will know why you have made the effort. Even my two and a half year old grandson likes to put on a long shirt and play “passer” by blessing everyone within arm’s length.

  9. Thank God for those dedicated mothers and fathers who labor to bring the children up in the faith, and oh yea, also for dedicated daughters.

  10. When my oldest was a baby, there was no other infant in church except for baptisms, which sent the ushers scrambling because they thought the Pastor had forgotten to tell them there were two baptisms!

    The Pastor wasn’t “against” children (we asked); it just hadn’t been done there. A mid-westerner, who had never seen it done any other way, broke the ice. By the time we had to leave, six years later, there were several pews of parents and children in regular attendance. 🙂

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